Individuals who wish to claim exemption described below must present a copy of their diplomatic identification card and/or their A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visa when purchasing airline and/or cruise tickets. The presentation of a tax exemption card is not required to receive this benefit.

The U.S. Government imposes user charges to be collected from air passengers for the purpose of the expansion and improvement of the U.S. airport and airway system. Although some of these charges are labeled as a “Tax,” they are not “taxes” as that term is used in international comity and treaties. Therefore, foreign mission personnel are not exempt from these charges. See IRS Revenue Ruling 72-10, 1972-1 C.B. 343.

The non-exempt charges include:

Name Amount (as of September 2014; subject to change)
U.S. Excise Tax (aka U.S. Domestic Transportation Tax; U.S. Ticket Tax) 7.5% of fare
Travel Facilities Tax (aka Alaska/Hawaii Ticket Tax) $8.70
U.S. Federal Segment Fee $4.00
Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) Up to $4.50
U.S. International Transportation (Arrival/Departure) Tax $17.50
September 11th Security Fee (aka U.S. Passenger Civil Aviation Security Fee) $5.60 per U.S. enplanement

The exempt charges include:

Name Amount (as of September 2014; subject to change)
U.S. Customs Fee $5.50
U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Fee $7.00
U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Fee $5.00

Similar charges may also be imposed on cruise itineraries.

Individuals who wish to ensure that their airline and cruise exemptions are honored should ask the ticketing agent or the travel agent if he/she is familiar with how to enter diplomatic exempt status when he/she is creating the ticket. The individual should feel free to share this notice with that agent. If the ticketing agent or travel agent should refuse to enter a properly claimed diplomatic exemption, the individual should purchase airline or cruise tickets elsewhere.

OFM also reminds all missions and personnel that exemptions cannot be granted when purchasing tickets on the internet.

For additional questions or comments concerning this information please contact OFM at  Missions located outside the Washington, DC area can contact their nearest OFM regional office (

U.S. Department of State

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